It may also lead to companies using blacklists being banned from public works.
The Procurement Reform Bill was sent to the Scottish Parliament yesterday (12 September 2013).
First Minister Alex Salmond said that the legislation would require public bodies to consider how their procurement activity can improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of local communities.
The First Minister also said that, with the agreement of Parliament, Scotland could go further than the plans unveiled by the Welsh government this week to bar companies that blacklist workers from bidding for multi-million pound public sector contracts.
He said: “The Procurement Reform Bill has the potential to make a difference to many lives. It will provide new powers to tackle companies that do not comply with their legal obligations, including blacklisting and employment law.
“I welcome the actions of the Welsh government in tackling this unacceptable practice. Our Bill here in Scotland will give Parliament the opportunity to go further than Wales, by taking the power to regulate how companies are selected to bid and how their suitability should be assessed. These regulations will address blacklisting, working within the framework of EU law.”
Scottish Building Federation managing director Vaughan Hart said: “I wholeheartedly welcome today’s announcement from the First Minister that a Procurement Reform Bill has now been presented to the Scottish Parliament.
“This legislation has been a long time coming. We have recently highlighted the spiralling cost to Scottish construction firms of participating in public tenders – now running to almost £100m a year. With a growing pipeline of publicly funded infrastructure projects planned over the years ahead, this Bill offers the potential to transform the efficiency of public procurement –and to encourage many more particularly smaller building firms to bid for public sector contracts. We will look forward to scrutinising the detail in the months ahead.”